Early History of
Bradbourne: A working document
Bradbourne in Sevenoaks, Kent, is today a locality centred around a series
of picturesque ponds (Bradbourne Park Lakes) lying to the north west of
Sevenoaks town, and east of Riverhead village. The area is bounded on
the north by the A25 Riverhead to Seal road, on the south east by the A225
Otford to Sevenoaks road, and to the south west by the A21 Dunton Green to
Sevenoaks road. Many people think of Bradbourne as occupying rather
less than this area, being bounded by Shoreham Lane on the one side and
Bradbourne Road on the other.
the 1920's Bradbourne was a country estate, the seat of Major William Gore
Lambard, M.W.H. (Master of the West Kent Hunt), but the history of this once
important estate goes back many hundreds of years.
Geologically, the estate is situated in the Darent valley between the
greensand escarpment to the south (comprising Raspit Hill, Wilmot
Hill, Rooks Hill, One Tree Hill, Carters Hill, Kettles Hill, Riverhill,
Hubbards Hill, Bayleys Hill, Brockhoult Mount, Yorks Hill, Ide Hill, Toys
Hill, and Hosey Hill) and the Darenth gap to the north lying between the
chalk escarpments of Greenhill, Otford Mount and East Hill Shorehill on the
east and Polhill to Sundridge and Brasted Hills on the west.
Prominent on the map today in this valley are the series of lakes (much
larger than the ponds at Bradbourne) along the river Darent created in
recent years at Chipstead and at the Redlands Gravel Pit Reserve and the
built up areas around Dunton Green, Riverhead, Bat and Ball and Greatness
through to the town of Sevenoaks lying on the greensand escarpment to the
Once, the lakes and Sevenoaks did not exist. Instead, the valley was
practically uninhabited. The great and ancient forest of Andred (Andrida;
Anderida; Andredesweald of the Saxons) occupied a massive area, covering the
whole of the Kentish Weald and stretching into Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire
- to the South Downs and the east and west, and down to the Darent valley.
The forest was thickest and the undergrowth most tangled most on the Wealden
clay making it practically impenetrable.
Presumptive evidence of the great forest of Andred can be found in the
Hastings bed country where the land has been largely cleared for
agriculture; a mosaic of small patches of woodland, often in angular
geometric shapes, is suggestive of remnants after the making of rectangular
We are told that "Henry Bosville made ye ponds (Bradbourne
Park Lakes) and other improvements", but Henry was making use of what had
been there for a very long time. The possible widening of a brook at
Bradbourne in earlier times, before the making of the lakes, due to this
increase in the volume of water may well be why the term 'Broad bourne' was
used to describe the area. Certainly there was sufficient water to
operate one or more water mills at Bradbourne for over three hundred years.
The 'Hythe Beds' rise in Sevenoaks due to a geological fault and in so doing
provide Sevenoaks with its water. The Hythe Beds are also responsible
for the water supply to the lakes. There is a very fine spring at
Spring Hill in Mill Bank Wood south of Dibden, this supplies water that runs
down through Brittains Farm and on to the lakes at Bradbourne. This
source of water also provided for Whitley Mill, the ruins of which, and the
mill pond can still be located. There are also a number of springs
originating at the site of the Bradbourne lakes themselves, in the top pond.
The brook resulting from these springs is a direct tributary to the river
Although Bradbourne is today a small area, in former times it
was extensive, and covered an area from the Manor of Otford in the North to
Whitley in the South -
in the West to Greatness in the East. The Blackhall and Hartslands
estates were held at one time by the same land owner. As the years
went by bits of the estate were sold off until at the time of Major William
Gore Lambarde only some 120 acres were left of the original 2000 or so.
The area seems to have begun its history as one of several
farming settlements along with such places as Brittains, Kippington,
Blackhall, Knole, Bowzells , Stiddolphs, Rumpstead, Wickhurst and Panthurst
etc. The Court Rolls indicate that some of these individual farms may
have been worked by tenants of the archbishops of Canterbury, who were the
Lords of the very important Manor or Honour of Otford. These
settlements and farms came into existence during the twelfth century and in
the case of Bradbourne was probably a knight fee forming a sub-manor of the
Manor of Otford.
A knight's fee was land which was considered sufficient to maintain a
knight, that is, an armed horseman with a small following. There were
about 5, 500 knight's fees in England after the Norman Conquest. Such
a holding was perhaps three hundred to four hundred acres, and we read in
the mediaeval records of knights having six, ten or more fees, and there are
cases of half a knight's fee. In many cases the holder of a knight's
fee did not himself go to war, he sent his substitute. The King or
other overlord who had given the fee was only concerned in having an armed
man on horse back and a following who would serve in his army.
The Doomsday Book
The Doomesday Book, William the Conqueror's record of the Realm of England
compiled in 1086, named only the land owners on the fifth of January, 1066,
that is, the date of the death of Edward the Confessor. The
commissioners then went on to give the name of the Norman successor, for in
the great majority of cases the Saxon lord was killed or dispossessed and a
Norman put in his place.
The object was to set out how the land in in England was held and what the
value of that land was.
persons to be
named were land lords,
the information to
be gleaned from this source is small. It can be guessed that
Bradbourne emerged sometime after the Manor of Otford around
extended from Shoreham to Penshurst, and at about the time that the market
was established during the rule of King Edgar
St Dunstan (Archbishop of Canterbury 960-988).
Doomsday Book mentions just eight manors in the whole of the Weald of Kent.
The successive owners of Bradbourne can be traced from the beginning of the
fifteenth century but there are no earlier records of them now in existence.
The best way of ascertaining the ownership of landed estates in the Middle
Ages is to consult the Lay Subsidy Rolls, which give the names of those
taxed for their lands in each Hundred. Bradbourne at Sevenoaks is in
the Hundred of Codsheath, and in the return for that Hundred in 1327, the
first year of the reign of King Edward III, we find the names of eight of
its principal landowners, among whom is John de Bradbourn. The Manor
(or more correctly sub-manor) had therefore, owners who had taken their name
surnames had then
been hereditary for a
long time, they had probably owned it for a considerable period.
century the estate had
acquired the full status of a Manor, for in a description of the
archbishop's lands in 1481, we read that he held some of them "of John Isle
arminger, as of his Manor of Bradbourne", again, in the deed of its exchange
by Sir Henry Isley with King Henry VIII. the Isley properties are described
as "his Manors of Bradbourne and Tymberdene, Kent with rights of
Frank-pledge, Court Rolls etc. "
It does however appear that after its sale by that King it retained its
former status, as no manorial jurisdiction was exercised under its
Historical research in Sevenoaks
The early years of this century until the second World War were never more
active as regards practical research in Sevenoaks and district.
The Rev. J. Rooker, M.A. compiled
'Notes on the
Parish Church of St Nicholas, Sevenoaks'
published in 1910, and four years later his
sketch of Bradbourne Chapel'
by the Sevenoaks Chronicle.
Local historians spent much time discussing the various
aspects of their own research. E. G. Box, W. E. Hughes, Dr Gordon
Ward, and George W. Miller did much useful work, and between 1924 and 1930
wrote to each other on matters concerning the Bradbourne estate.
George W. Miller started to write a history of the estate and delivered a
paper to the Sevenoaks Society on the early history of Bradbourne in 1930.
Dr Gordon Ward, well known of course by all local historians for his
Essays' which was published in 1931 and compiled a mass of copied
documentation now referred to as the
Had these dedicated historians not existed, Sevenoaks would have been much
poorer for it. Between them they helped to correct many mistakes made
by earlier historians such as T. Philipot and Edward Hasted.
The work of Charles J. Philips
"Philips", Dunlop tells us, in his book,
Pleasant Town of Sevenoaks', "was a dealer in rare postage stamps, and
lived at the Glebe, Oak Lane, from 1898 to 1918. It is not quite clear
from his notes when he decided to write his monumental
of the Sackville Family'.
In the opening
chapters he writes of working on the history from 1913 to 1922 but from
other evidence it seems likely that his studies commenced even earlier.
At all events, it is clear that, as early as 1913, he had resolved to
produce also a History of the Sevenoaks District. To that end he built
up a library at the Glebe and employed record searchers to trace and
translate the material and records preserved at Lambeth Palace, the Public
Records Office and elsewhere. The outbreak of the First World War
interfered with his planned programme. He decided to concentrate on
the Sackville history and returned all borrowed papers to Knole. In
1919 he moved from Sevenoaks to London and in 1923 transferred his home to
New York. Before his departure he was able to achieve his first aim
History of the Sackvilles'.
splendid royal quarto volumes, printed in Great Britain, published by
Cassell and Company, sumptuously illustrated, cost eight guineas for the
Mr Philips had taken to the United States with him all the
material accumulated for the production of his planned 'History of
Sevenoaks'. His plan envisaged the production of volumes on the same
princely scale as the Sackville history. The times were not favourable
and he realised that he would not be able to complete the project.
Therefore in November 1927 he sent all the manuscripts and papers to his
friend Mr Herbert W. Knocker of the Temple and of Westerham. Mr
Knocker had, before the war been a member of the family firm of solicitors
in Sevenoaks and had been High Steward of the Honour of Otford. He was
a great authority on manorial rights and customs. Now the valuable
collection of papers was safely back in England. The next development
was entirely due to the painstaking devotion of Mr Knocker. The total
number of papers was around three thousand. Between the years 1927 to
1934 these were collated, arranged and bound into fifteen foolscap volumes,
now preserved in the Sevenoaks Public Library.
Part of this great history was printed in the Sevenoaks
Chronicle under the title 'Chronicles of Sevenoaks' including a section on
Bradbourne. It becomes evident when conducting research that few
members have conducted research themselves, or have considered their work of
sufficient importance to ensure that it has been left in a convenient place
for future historians.
Of all of the papers, documents, letters and fragmented work studied at the
Public Library at Sevenoaks, only a handful of historians have brought them
together. To them we must be forever grateful.
As regards to my own researches into the history of the Bradbourne estate,
the following furnished me with invaluable material:
Gordon Ward, M.D.
1927 - 1931
George W. Miller
1929 - 1930
Charles J. Philips
Rev. J. Rooker
W. E. Hughes
E. G. Box
1924 - 1927
Herbert W. Knocker
1927 - 1934
The dates given
are those in which the historian was known to be actively engaged upon
research work etc. The list is obviously not exhaustive, but local
researchers will be hard pressed to find quantities of work by any other
historian of these times.
The early history of Bradbourne until 1204
The early history of Bradbourne in Sevenoaks is riddled with
inaccuracies and inconsistencies that have been created by earlier
historians in their search for documentation.
Historians usually copy the work of previous researchers.
The wise historian will accept nothing unless a reliable source is quoted.
Sometimes, as in the cases of the World Wars, information is not readily
available, at such times active historians may well be forced to accept the
writings of others or abandon the project altogether.
As regards local history, much documentation has been destroyed, leaving
tantalising gaps, that the enthusiastic historian may be tempted to fill
with his own theory. All well and good provided that the historian
tells us that it is his theory.
Enthusiastic historians discovering a
may not conduct sufficient examination of the documentary facts in their
desire to back up theory with 'good' documentation. For all sorts of
reasons, history is full of mistakes, some of which may never be corrected.
From a paper delivered to the Sevenoaks
14th, March, 1930 by George W. Miller.
I am sure all those who take an interest in local and County history, are
grateful for the efforts of our historian, Edward Hasted, whose massive work
was published over two centuries ago. It is still THE standard History
of Kent. When we consider the great difficulties of historical
research in his day, its achievements are worthy of the greatest admiration.
We must regret however that he used as material, so often and so
confidently, the statements of an earlier writer John Philipot,
Cities of Kent Surveyed and Described', was produced towards the beginning
of the seventeenth century (1659).
Philipot was a herald by profession and the College of Arms was supposed
then, and long afterwards, to possess records that were infallible material
for County history. This, reputation, now badly damaged, survived in
Hasted's day, and he seems to have had no hesitation in accepting Philipots
statements. The account of Bradbourne, in Hasted's History of Kent,
which is taken directly from PhiIipot is entirely erroneous as
regards the earlier devolution of the Bradbourne estate.
The first recorded owner of Bradbourne
By Charles J. Philips
In his 'History of Bradbourne' Philips says, "In the earliest records we
have found, the manors of Seal, Knole , Kemsing and Bradbourne were held by
the same owners. The first recorded owner of any of these manors is
Baldwin de Betun".
In fact the evidence is scant to say the least, in one roll, Brabourne is
mentioned and in just three more Bradbourne is stated. Philips may
however have mis-spelled them.
At no time in the se records is Bradbourne stated as being in Sevenoaks and
so could be that at Limpsfield or Ashford. Philips was led astray by
Hasted and Philipot. Hasted was led astray by Philipot.
Bradbourne in Sevenoaks
William Mareschall (the elder) i.e. 1204 / 1221
Hasted says that Baldwine le Betun came to Kemsing in 1221 (and
Liber rubens de Scaccario says that Baldwin de Betun, Earl of
Albermarle died in 1212.
Philips says "William Mareschall received the Lordship of Bradbourne in
marriage in 1204, yet he is supposed to have held Bradbourne after this
Philips gives no source of his information upon this point, yet proves
consistently that, as a rule, he accepts only documentary evidence. He
also gives the source in the majority of his statements.
On these grounds and in the absence of any corroborative documentation (or
until such time as I locate documentary evidence) I decided to accept:
1 ...only that William Mareschall, Earl of Pembroke
received the Lordship of Bradbourne in the period 1204-1221
2 ...the probability that 'Bradbourne' in this case,
is more likely to be 'Braborne' in Bircholt Barony.
3 ...that William Mareschall, Earl of Pembroke died
in 1229 leaving his estates to his son, William Mareschall (the younger).
4 ...that the' history' of Bradbourne in Sevenoaks
as related in this chapter is probably that of Braborne in Bircholt Barony
i.e. the period up to 1410 and the de Fremingham family.
5 ...that Philips was misled by Philipot's and
Hasted's account, and although researching the 'accepted' history well, did
not realise the serious error that he had made in making the assumption that
earlier historians had got it more or less right.
Liber Rubens de Scaccario
Baldwin de Betun, Earl of Albermarle died in 1212.
"He obtained this title by his marriage with Hawisia (see Hasted's account),
daughter of William Ie Gros, Earl of Albermarle.
After his death his
wife and her son successively enjoyed the title." (Charles J. Philips)
"Hasted however, says that the descendant of William Marshall, Earl of
Pembroke, one Gulbert Marschll, "dying without issue, Robert de Bigod, Earl
of Norfolk entered upon it in right of his mother's sister and heir and in
the eleventh year of Edward 1. (1283) settled it on Lord Grandison..."
(Charles J. Philips)
I consider Hawis, daughter of Baldwine Betun, Earl of Albermarle (Hasted)
and Hawisia, daughter of William Ie Gros, Earl of Albermarle, to be suspect
Hasted History of Kent
"Bradbourne was once part of the possessions of Baldwine Betun Earl of
Albermarle: and it came to him thus:-
Faleatius de Brent (or as sometimes expressed, Fulkes de Breaute) who
so vigorously defended and supported King John against his barons and who
defeated the designs of those forces which Lewis the Dauphin of France had
bought hither against that King afterwards engaging against King Henry III.
and seizing on the castle of Bedford which was got out of his hands with
great difficulty, forfeited his estate here to the Crown
King Henry III. in his fifth year (1221) granted to the Earl
Albermarle above named.
His daughter and heir Hawis (Philips says Alice) carried it
in marriage to her husband William Marshall Earl of Pembroke."
For many successive generations the two great families of
Marshall and then Grandison were the owners of Kemsing and Seal but when we
turn to the,
Mortem' of these reputed owners, we find no mention of Bradbourne, although
Kemsing and Seal are fully detailed.
The account by Hasted, has moreover,
genealogy and heraldry which are surprising as the work of a member of
Philipot's profession, especially as the persons concerned played a
prominent part in the history of England. It is strange
also that Hasted passed them. It seems however, from the content of a
letter written by Hasted to Francis Austen (see appendix), that much
of the material for the history may have been supplied by other now
anonymous individuals more closely in touch with local events, it does seem
unlikely that Hasted could have ever checked all the information that would
eventually make up his great work.
George W. Miller of the White House, Chislehurst, was the first local
historian to point out (1928-9) that previous historians had confused two
different places in relating the history of Bradbourne in Sevenoaks
Philipot set the trend and for three hundred years no one escaped it.
It was not that Philipot was unaware of the dangers for we
are told that "the early Lords of Kemsing also held the Manor of Brabourne
in the Hundred of Bircholt Barony." Brabourne and Brabourne Lees lie
North of the M20 between Ashford and Folkestone, both have the same meaning
(broad bourne) and both have been confused one with the other. Locally
they have been spelt differently at all times; the scriveners of the
Inquisitions Post Mortems and Pedes Finium have sometimes omitted the 'd'
from Bradbourne and given one to Brabourne or Braborne, which has evidently
been a cause of much confusion.
Bradbourne has been spelt many differing ways, Bradeburn,
Bradeborne, Bradeborn, Bradborne, Bradbourne, Bradburn and Bradborn etc.
of confusion is a Bradbourne at
Larkfield, West of
Maidstone which now appears to be a research station (1960's). This
Bradbourne has a history that goes back to the thirteenth century and its
owners at one time were the Isley family also owners of Bradbourne in
Sevenoaks (according to Hasted).
Hasted states that this estate (at Larkfield ) was included in a sale by Sir
Henry Isley to Henry VIII. but in fact it was the Sevenoaks Bradbourne that
was transferred to the King. The Larkfield Bradbourne had in fact been
owned by a family by the name of Catlyn before it was acquired by Richard
Maningham in 1589.
It follows that statements must always be closely scrutinised
and verified from contemporary records before they can be accepted.
The accounts that Philipot gives of the devolution of Bradbourne and
Brabourne are good examples of his careless methods.
The only other Bradbourne Brabourne or similar that I have found is
Bradbourne, 15 miles North West of Nottingham , and so fortunately is too
far away to be confused with our Bradbourne.
Novice researchers must note that unless the words "in
Sevenoaks" are added to Bradbourne, the danger exists that it is to one of
the other estates that reference is being made.
The Mareschall family
1204 until 1275
Mareschall, Earl of Pembroke, says Philips,
of Baldwin de Beron in 5 John, (1204), and received with her in marriage the
Lordships of Bradbourne, Sutton and Kemsing in Kent and other lands in
This William Mareschall rose to be one of the most powerful barons in
England, and a few details of his life may prove of interest. The
following are from 'Baronage of England', Dugdale, 1675, p. 599 and 'Court
Itinerary of Henry II'., Eyton, 1878. and 'History of the Town and Port of
1814, Revd. J. Lyon.
He obtained from Richard 1. Isabell, daughter and heiress of
Richard, Earl of Strigul, in marriage. At the coronation of King
Richard he bore the Royal Sceptre. While Richard I. was abroad, he
joined with John, Earl of Moreton, against Wlliam de Longchamp, Bishop of
Ely, and for this he was excommunicated by the Pope. This terrified
him to such an extent that he fled to Sicily to take advice from the King as
to how he should act.
After the return of King Richard to England, his steady
attachment to his sovereign procured him tides of honour and places of trust
At the death of Richard in 1199 he attached himself to King
John. In 1208 he obtained from that monarch a grant of the whole
province of Linster in Ireland.
In 1204 he had married his second wife, Alice de Betun.
On the death of King John in 1216 he hastened the summoning
of the great Barons, and when they assembled, he took Prince Henry among
them and said, "Behold your King" and Henry III. was du1y proclaimed.
Soon after this a party of the Barons tried to set up Lewis, son of the King
of France, as King of England.
William Mareschall resisted them, and at the siege of Lincoln
Castle totally defeated Lewis and the Barons, and then marched to London and
invested it, whereupon peace was arranged in A. D. 1218
He founded several religious houses, and died at Caversham in 1229.
He left five sons, William, Richard, Gilbert, Walter and Amelm, also five
daughters, of whom Maud married Hugh Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, to whom we
shall have to return later
Mareschall, 1st Earl of Pembroke
Note by George W. Miller
"Philipot's account of the early owners of Bradbourne in
Sevenoaks is quite untenable.
In his account he makes
Marschall, 1st Earl of Pembroke of that race a childless man, whereas by his
second wife Isabell de Clare, Strongbow's heiress, he left five sons and
Omitting Isabel and her children he then gives a second wife, the Princess
Eleanor, sister of Henry III., who was in fact the wife of the SON and
namesake who succeeded to his earldom and estates.
From the Ward index:
Ref. 4. 1210: Ralph de Bradbn. Polhill.
1225: Close Roll. 9, Henry III.,
Part 1. m, 5.
The Lord King has granted to the EARL MARSHALL all the oxen, and all the
stock and corn found both in granaries, and on the land in the MANORS of
KEMSING, SUTTON and BRABORNE, which FALK DE BREAUTE (sometimes referred
to as Faleatius de Brent) once held, which manors indeed the Lord King
committed to the same Earl as long as it please the King. And the
Sheriff of Kent is commanded to make him have full seisin thereof.
Philips says "This document is an important one, as it is the earliest that
we have found that definitely links up Bradbourne as going with Kemsing, and
is also the earliest date at which we have found Bradbourne noted in
any authentic record."
George W. Miller: This document refers to BRABORNE and
Braborne in the Hundred of Bircholt Barony was first confused with
Bradbourne in the Hundred of Codsheath by T. Philipot in his "Villare
Cantianum" 1659. Hasted copied Philipot and Philips was misled by
these emphatic statements.
1225: Close Roll. 9, Henry III., Part 1. m, 12.
The ABBESS OF WILTON has in the MANOR OF KEMSING, 40 shillings (£2) rent of
the gift of BALDWIN DE BETUN, and that FAULKES DE BREAUTE unjustly and
without judgement disseised her thereof.
The King orders the Sheriff of Kent (this would be William Brito, acting
for Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent)* to have the property restored to the
*Charles J. Philips
1230: William Mareschall (the
younger) 2nd Earl of Pembroke.
Charles J. Philips
next owner of Bradbourne was William Mareschall, the younger. In the
lifetime of his father he joined the rebellious Barons, but on the death of
King John he became loyal to Henry 111., who granted him a number of manors.
In 1223 Leoline Prince of Wales took two of his castles in Ireland during
his absence, but he quickly returned, collected a strong force, and beat
Leoline in battle, who is said to have lost 9,000 men.
In A.D. 1230 King Henry confirmed him in possession of the manors of
Bradbourne, Sutton, Kemsing, Linton and Others, provided that in case
Alianore (Eleanor), his wife, sister to the King should survive him, then
she should enjoy them during her life. (See Cart. Misc., Henry III., Part 1,
He died in 1231 and was buried in New Temple, London. He left no
children and was succeeded by his brother, Richard Mareschall.
Charles J. Philips
Richard Mareschall went to the
King in Wales and offered to perform his homage and whatever should be
required for his inheritance.
But the King said that he had heard that his brother's wife Eleanor was
great with child, and, moreover, had heard that he had been conversant with
his enemies in France, and said that if he did not leave the Realm in
fifteen days he would cast him in prison. Richard then went to Ireland
with one of his younger brothers, and secured possession of his inheritance
there. Soon after he landed in Pembroke, and raised a great force to
obtain his inheritance in England, whereupon the King accepted his Homage
and Fealty and directed his Precept to the Sheriff of Kent that he should
make Livery of the Manors of Sutton, Kemsing and Bradbourne to Eleanor,
widow of the late Earl.
(Vide Close Roll. 15 , Henry 111., m. 10.) This was in A. D. 1231 .
Breaute or Falk de Brent
Charles J. Philips
(See also Hasted's account pre-1204, the early history)
William, son of William Mareschall joined the rebellious Barons, and for a
short time his estates in England escheated to the Crown, and Henry III.
granted them to Fulkes de Breaute (or Brent).
Fulkes de Breaute was a Norman by birth (Mathew Paris, p.332,
n. 10) and a bastard of mean extraction: he was Sheriff of Glamorganshire in
1209, and soon grew into favour with King John, and was reputed to be one of
his evil counsellors. In 1214 he received a grant of the Castle and
Honour of Chilham in Kent (Patent Roll, 15, John, Part 1, m. 8). Later
on Breaute was appointed General of the Army near London, and marched into
Essex, Hertford, Middlesex, Cambridge etc. burning the homes of the adverse
Barons and imposing taxes on the whole country. He fired parts of the
suburbs of London and took great plunder. He received grants of many
manors of those rebellious Barons among others those of Bradbourne, Sutton
and Kemsing .
On the death of King John,
Henry 111. granted him the Honour of Eye. co. Suffolk, and the next year he
took troops to St Albans, and plundered the whole town, and put the people
in bonds. At the door of the Abbey Church he slew one of the servants
of that House, and under threats of firing the Abbey extracted £ 100 from
In 1224 he became so oppressive that the Justices Itinerant fined him a
great sum of money; he then chased the Justices, caught Henry de Braybroke,
and took him prisoner to Bedford Castle.
The King was now thoroughly turned against him, and besieged the Castle, the
whole Province of Canterbury sending him their assistance. After two
months the Castle was taken by storm, and William de Breaute , brother of
Fulkes was hanged.
Fulkes de Breaute fled to Wales, and the King seized all his possessions
throughout England. He was eventually brought to trial and banished
the kingdom in 1225. He died in France on his journey back from Rome.
He married Margaret de Ripariis, widow of Baldwin, son of William, Earl of
Devon. After his downfall she went to the King. and in the presence of the
told them she never gave her consent to the marriage, as she had been taken
by violence in the time of hostilities and against her will.
In the meantime William Mareschall the younger had made his peace with Henry
III., who restored his possessions (vide Close Roll. 9. Henry III., ante) .
On the death of Richard Mareschall without direct heirs, his mother Eleanor,
sister of the King, seems to have had a life interest in Kemsing, Seale and
Charles J. Philips
This Eleanor, sister of Henry III., married William Mareschall, Earl of
Pembroke, and seems for a time to have resided at Kemsing and to have been a
benefactor to that district.
Charter Roll, 17, Henry III., m. 2, (A.D. 1233).
A grant by the King on the 9th, August, to Eleanor Countess of Pembroke, the
Kings sister, for life, of a weekly market on Wednesday at her Manor of Se1e
(Seal), and of a yearly fair there on the vigil, the feast, and the morrow
of St Edith the Virgin. (16th, September)
Close Roll, 17 , Henry III., m. 10
Mandate to P. de Rivall that he should cause Eleanor, Countess of Pembroke,
to have 20 oaks in the forest of Tonbridge as the Kings gift, for the
reparation of her houses at Kemsing, which were recently burned.
Charles J. Philips
From the Chancery Inquisition Post Mortem, 3 Edward 1., File 10. m. 16, it
appears that Eleanor married a second time to the Earl of Leicester, as she
is termed" Eleanor, Countess of Leicester, who was the wife of William
Marshall, Earl of Pembroke.
George W. Miller
"The Princess married secondly Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who
fell at Evesham in the Barons war, and her latter years were passed in exile
and disgrace. She retained however the lands settled upon her in dower
by her first husband, which included Kemsing and Seale. The
Inquisition held after her death is very detailed but it has no mention of
Bradbourne or Braborne. The latter had been however a possession of
the Marshalls and after the extinction their male line passed to the heirs
of one of the sisters of the second William Marshall (or Marschall).
If it had been settled upon the Princess Eleanor as Philipot states it would
certainly have been named in the Inquisition."
Charles J. Philips
This Inquisition is very interesting as it quotes local prices in A. D.
1275, which is the year in which
the Countess died.
"The jurors say that the curtilage (i. e. court attached to a dwelling
house) at Kemsing is worth Is. 6d. (7 1/2p) yearly. At Kemsing she
held 278 acres of arable land, worth yearly 6d (2 1/2p) per acre, but at
Seale 22 acres of arable land area set down at 8d (3.4p) per acre. The
pasture of the whole park at Kemsing, with a meadow within the park is
valued at £4 13s 8 1/2d (£4. 69) yearly. Eleven acres of meadow
without the park is reckoned as worth Is 6d (7 1/2p) per acre.
At this rate the whole park was about 62 acres. In Kemsing and Seale
there was an annual income from rent of £ 32 4s 3 1/2d (£32.21) equal in our
money to some £600 to £700 (at the time Philips wrote up this account), so
the Countess held a good deal of property, beside the manor of Bradbourne.
In those days lands were held by the tenants for various services, and the
delivery of so many chickens, eggs, etc . for the use of the Lord of the
Some of the services set forth here are interesting, as we get the estimate
of their money value. Gavelerthe, the service of ploughing for the
Lord is reckoned at Is (5p) per acre. Gavelrip, the service of reaping
is only reckoned at 8d (3.3p) per acre. 18 cartloads of wood, carried,
2d. (0.8p) per cartload. Four acres of meadow, mowing, tossing,
collecting and carting at 5d (2. 1p) per acre. 17 1/2 loads of malt
made, price of the load 2d (0. 8p). The windmill at Kemsing,
excepting repairs, is worth only 10s (50p).
The Bigod family
1270/5 until 1283
It seems to the King 26
Kemsing is extended at 36 which Eleanor held in dower
fell to Roger le Bygot,
Earl of Norfolk and Marshall le Mareschall (heir of William, Eleanor's late
To be had after death of Eleanor.
King orders taking possession £9 of land and rent in William de Valencia.
(until 1270 according to
Charles J. Philips)
Charles J. Philips
Roger Bigod was the son and heir of Hugh Bigod and Maude, his wife, who was
the eldest daughter of William Mareschall, the elder, Earl of Pembroke.
The following extract from the Close Rolls show clearly how he came to
inherit these properties:-
Close Roll. 3. Edw .1., m. 11. 3 June,
To John de London Escheator this side Trent:
Wheras it appears to the King that £26 2s 7d. (£26. 16) yearly of land and
rent with the chief messuage and park in the Manor of Kemsing which Manor is
extended at £36... which Eleanor, Countess of Leicester, late the wife
of William Mareschall , Earl of Pembroke, held in dower, by the inheritance
of said William,
fell to the purparty*
of Roger Ie
BygOt, Earl of Norfolk and Marshall le Mareschall, brother and heir of the
said William, to be had after Eleanor's death, who is now dead; the King
orders seizin; £ 9 17s 5d (£ 9.87) of land and rent in William de Valencia,
and his wife Joan, one of the heiresses of Walter."
division; part; a proportion; a share, esp. in an inheritance.
Purparty is an old word for share or portion... to hold land in
purparty with a person is to hold it jointly with him.
Bigot, when a youth, was placed under the Wardship of Alexander, King of
Scotland, who paid for this the sum of 500 marks, and who later on married
Roger to his own sister Isabella of Scotland. In the calendar of Papal
Registers for 1248 there is a Mandate by Pope Innocent IV. to the Bishop of
Ely, on the petition of Roger Bigot, to cite him, and Isabella, who passes
as his wife, to appear within two months in person or by proctor, before the
Pope, in order that the cause between them as to affinity, which has already
lasted three years, may be proceeded with and determined.
We have not found what judgement was given by the Pope, but five years
later, in 1253 Roger took his wife again and was reconciled to her.
In 30, Henry III.
(1246) - Roger
Bigod was granted the office of Marshall of England, in right of Maude, his
In a list of the enormous number of "Knight's Fees" held by the Bigods,
there is no mention in a of a single Fee being held in Kent, and the
Inquisitions Post Mortem for Kent in the reign of Henry III. also gives us
no further information about the property held by the Bigods in this county.
Roger Bigod died in 1270, and was buried at Thetford.
He was succeeded by his nephew Roger Bigod II.
Bigod II was 25 years of age at this time.
His mother was Joan,
heiress of Nicholas de Stutevill.
He married Aliva, daughter and heiress of Philip Basset, Justiciar of
In 29, Edward 1.
1299 , having no
issue, he constituted King Edward his heir, and delivered to him the
Marshal's Rod for £1,000 down, and £1,000 per annum for life.
The present Lord Mowbray and Stourton, in his interesting and learned
"History of the House of Stourton" states that:-
"Roger de Bigod surrendered his titles and estates to the Crown on 12th,
April, 1302, but received them back by charter 12th, July following."
Dr. J. H. Round in his "Peerage and Pedigree", points out that the King had
no power to accept the Earldom.
Roger died 11th, December, 1306, having in 1283 conveyed his Kent estates to
Sir Otho de Grandison."